Bridge works scheduled for November

It is hoped the long-awaited work to the Bridge at Cascades will finally take place later this year, cutting journey times for users of the path. Local residents and visitors have been forced for over a year to make the substantial detour which involves having to cross multiple lanes of traffic via Westferry Circus.

The bridge, which was first closed in July 2022, has seen its reopening date repeatedly delayed by Canal & River Trust.

In March this year, the official line from the Trust was that scheme design works had been completed, with the works to install a new bridge due to commence in April and conclude by the end of June.


Things appeared to be progressing well and in March engineers were also spotted inspecting the bridge adding to hopes of local residents that the bridge would finally be repaired.

Workers inspecting Cascades Bridge in March 2023

Frustratingly however, spring turned to summer, and no further work was seen taking place. In July, Canal and River Trust provided us with a further update in which they said they were hopeful of a September reopening:

“All finances have been approved and materials have been ordered. For some elements there is an 8-week lead time, all suppliers are aware and are working on these orders. We are hopeful that this work will be completed in September…given the financially challenging position the Trust find ourselves in this year, these repairs could not have been undertaken any quicker.”

Subsequent communications have also confirmed that the repairs will include a full deck and support system replacement. We got back in touch with the Trust in August to check in on how the work was progressing where they confirmed the reopening date had slipped yet again to November, although this time the timings of the work appeared much more concrete:

“We have now, thankfully, secured the funding required [for the work] and they are confirmed to be taking place from 25/10/2023 to 28/11/2023”

We are hopeful the repairs will finally take place in November and the bridge can be reopened.

This saga does however raise some questions about whether such an important local asset is best maintained by a charity which is facing significant financial pressures. In July, the Government announced a new funding settlement for the organisation, covering the ten-year period from 2027 to 2037. The settlement represents a steep reduction in funding of over £300 million over the period. The charity has warned the funding cuts will result in a decline in the overall condition of their network, raising the possibility of canal closures and putting at risk the condition of their infrastructure.